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Four holiday theater performances to catch this winter (that aren't The Nutcracker)

A Tuna Christmas
Photograph: Kirk Tuck A Tuna Christmas

Sure, The Nutcracker at Austin Ballet is a Christmas classic that everyone should see, but what if you’re hankering for a different way to celebrate the holiday season this year? Put your sugarplum fairy plans on hold—we found four alternative holiday-themed shows for you to check out: 

A Tuna Christmas
The second in a series of plays about the fictional town of Tuna, Texas turns its lens of gentle humor (think a Southern Garrison Keillor) towards small-town Christmas festivities. Written by Jaston Williams, Joe Sears and Ed Howard, the play features a new cast of three actors portraying all 25 citizens of Tuna. Jaston Williams himself returns to direct this co-production of the Paramount Theatre and Zach Theatre. Zach Theatre, Nov 1–Dec 31, Tues-Sat at 7:30pm and Sunday at 2:30pm, $35-$88

A Miracle on 34th Street Classic Radiocast
Penfold Theatre presents a cool new take on a holiday classic as the fictional radio station of KPNF (for Penfold—get it?) presents A Miracle on 34th Street. Written by Nathan Jerkins and directed by Monica Ballard, the all-ages show will feature a variety of actors voicing multiple characters, all accompanied by live Foley/sound effects work! Penfold Theatre Company at Old Settler’s Hall, Nov 30–Dec 23, Thu–Sat at 8pm and Sat at 2:30pm; $25, with discounts for students and seniors (65+)

People of Color Christmas
This new play by award-winning local playwright Christine Hoang (directed by the equally award-winning Rudy Ramirez) takes a comedic and sentimental look at what it means to celebrate Christmas as a woman of color. The production will be pretty unique in that each weekend of its run will be at a different City of Austin Museum and Cultural Program facility—the Asian American Resource Center (AARC), Mexican American Cultural Center (MACC) and the Dougherty Arts Center. Location varies; see website for details. Dec 1–16, Fri & Sat at 8pm, matinee on Dec 16 at 5pm), free admission but attendees must sign up in advance at Eventbrite.

Karaoke Christmas Carol
The Rude Mechanicals are Austin’s top avant-garde theater troupe, meaning that we’ve come to expect delightfully weird work for them. Their holiday offering is no different, with a karaoke version of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol that asks the audience to perform all the parts and sing all the songs. Those who are microphone averse can capture photos of the evening to compete for a nightly prize—the most classic of Christmas foods, a rock-solid fruitcake! Ground Floor Theatre. Dec 8–10, 22–23 at 8pm, $25

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